Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pictures of Samuel

We got some really good news today. Both boys are progressing nicely. They are drinking mostly breastmilk now and may be able to be taken off of their IVs tonight. If all goes well, they will be moved from their little incubators into cribs tomorrow! Praise God. He has been so faithful to see them through every little step of their lives.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas came early...

with the surprise birth of our two baby boys on Christmas Eve. All this time we've worked so hard to stave off preterm labor to keep the babies in long enough for them to get to at least 35 weeks. It was beginning to look like we were going to make it. However, on Tuesday while the nurses were doing their routine monitoring of the boys' heartrates, we discovered that the boys had taken an unexpected change for the worse. After a day of waiting to see if things would get better, the doctors decided to take the babies before they went into real distress. I was in the operating room within 2 hours, giving birth to our little preemies.

Wesley Darrell was born first at 1:23 pm and weighed in at a whopping 3 lbs 7 oz and measured 16 3/4 ". One minute later Samuel Scott arrived a little heavier at 3 lbs 14 oz and measured 16 1/2 ". The rest of the evening was recovery time for me while Jeff made phone calls and took care of details. He and the proud grandparents got to go see the babies later that evening. My first visit took place the following evening. Unfortunately, they weren't ready to be held. It was so hard to see them all hooked up to wires and monitors in the incubator and not be able to pick them up and hold them and cuddle them.

The boys are both doing very well. They are having issues that are typical of 32 weekers but they improve daily. On the day after Christmas Jeff and I were allowed to do kangaroo care with Wesley where we hold him skin to skin. It's really good for the baby and certainly does our hearts good. We're anxiously waiting for the time when Samuel is ready to be held as well. Even though he was born bigger, he's improving a little slower. Wesley is a little fighter and Samuel seems to be more of a mellow, kick-back kind of a guy.

Here are pictures of us with Wesley.

Monday, December 22, 2008

32 Weeks and Counting

When we first began this journey in the hospital, the boys were barely viable according to medical science. And even though we knew their outcome would be determined by God and not by statistics, it was very scary just the same. Now, almost two months later, they are past the 32 week mark and coming up on 4 lbs each. We can see the light at the end of this long tunnel and look forward to meeting our sons and seeing their sweet little faces within just a few weeks. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!! Now we can truly set our sights on the goal of 35 weeks and no long NICU stays (no NICU stays at all, Lord willing). Perhaps we will deliver and get to take our babies home with us as soon as I'm released!

Meanwhile, through each unpleasant experience in this pregnancy (and there have been many) I continually tell the boys that they are worth it all! I think Jeff thinks I'm nuts. But whatever happens I will continue to thank God for our two little miraculous blessings, our answers to prayer, our fulfillment of God's word to us, our gifts from the very hand of God.

This Christmas will be a simple one. No big Christmas tree, no cards to send out (sorry everyone!), no parties to go to, no lights to hang, no dinners to cook, just Jeff and me in my little hospital room with our little fake tree and a few gifts we managed to pull together. This will be the last Christmas we spend together with just the two of us. I know it will be very memorable!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today's Great News

We had another FFN test today and it again came back negative. Praise God! That means we have at least another two weeks before the babies come. If you'd like to read up on what this test is, go to

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random thoughts...

Some Things I Am Thankful For:

-31 weeks and 3 lb 12 oz babies!!!

-My husband staying overnight in the hospital with me!

-Decorating a little Christmas tree for my hospital room. It's fake but it's cute!

-Terbutaline shots to stop my contractions when they get out of control (never thought I'd ever be so thankful to be stuck by a needle!)

-Internet shopping!

-Great nurses and PCAs.

-TLC: How would I pass my days without daily episodes of What Not to Wear, Bringing Baby Home and Jon & Kate plus 8?

-My new laughing baby ringtone that gives me a giggle everytime I get a phone call.

-Babies hiccuping in my belly (both at once)!

-The annual Christmas gathering with my college friends (though in a very unusual location).

Lesser Known Pregnancy Symptom:

I had never heard of this before but some women experience aching pain in the joints of their hands and feet during pregnancy. Guess I'm one of them. It's very strange. I imagine what I'm feeling is a little like arthritis. Fun fun!

A Sad Anniversary:

Today is the anniversary of the death of Jeff's first wife. This has always cast a dark shadow over this time of the year for him. I'm praying for lots of wonderful happy memories to take the place of the painful ones surrounding Christmas for him. I anticipate the boys being a big a part of that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our Own Private Roller Coaster

This time around in the hospital is definitely different. During my last stay, once the doctors got me stabilized, I pretty much stayed that way for the entire month I was here. This time around, each day is a big question mark.

Yesterday, after being stable the whole day, one of my doctors said she wasn't totally ruling out the possibility of sending me home again even though I was 2 cm dialated. Last night, however, my contractions started up again with a vengeance and it looked once again like we were on our way to a c-section. But they tried a medication that hadn't worked on my last stay here and low and behold, it worked!!! Today I'm doing relatively well again but boy is this a bumpy ride! For us, it really does feel like we're on a huge roller coaster. We're on the ride, there's no turning back and sooner or later, we're going to take that big scary drop off. All we can do now is trust the ride engineer's design and take each turn as it comes. So we're doing our best to take each day one moment at a time and remind ourselves that our Creator knows what He's doing, is completely in control and we are not and that's okay. What a lesson in letting go and trusting God!

I'll keep you all posted as we hit new dips and turns and even find ourselves upside down at times. We know in the end, we'll be glad to have taken this ride and will be on to the next roller coaster of parenting twin boys. It's only by the grace of God that we've made it this far and we are so thankful to still be here coming up on 31 weeks. For those of you who are praying, our preference is to hit 35 weeks before delivery. Thanks for all the prayers and support!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Here we go again...

Yesterday's nurse was Leah Tard. Ha ha. Today's nurse is Olivia. Yes, I'm back in the hospital as of yesterday morning. I started having too many contractions early in the morning so I went to see my doctor and found out I've begun dialating. We checked in at the hospital around 10:00 a.m. and for the entire day it looked as though the babies were coming and that was that. Then later in the evening I was finally able to change medications and by the grace of God, this one is working for me so far. Praise God for again coming to my rescue!

Haven't had anything to eat or drink since yesterday morning in case they took me in for surgery. Needless to say I'M STARVING!!! We're hoping they'll fix that soon since my contractions have slowed down but I have yet to hear from the doctor. My sweet husband slept on the super luxurious hospital cot last night and got a wonderful night's sleep, in between all the interuptions to check my vital signs and bring me medications. That's hospital life for you.

The good news is, the medication is working for now and I'm told they've had women in here who were dialated up to 3 or 4 cm and been able to hang out here for 5 weeks before delivering. So there is hope that we have more time. It's all up to the Lord. Please pray. We really want the babies to spend as little time as possible in the NICU.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What the Harrison Boys Are Up To

Today marks 30 weeks and the boys continue to grow stronger. Praise God!!! Here's what's in store for them in the coming week (according to

"This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (our boys are a little ahead of this curve) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, (do they ever!) so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy."

There's this cute little thing Jeff set up for me. Each day in the hospital the nurses would update a whiteboard in my room with the current date and the names of my nurse and patient care assistant. Jeff has created his own version of this for me at home:

Not sure where he comes up with all these names but it gives me a good laugh each day. Yesterday my nurse was Herbie Simplex.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I passed the test!!!

Hurray! My test came back negative. As long as my body cooperates I'll have two more glorious weeks at home! Praise God!!! Now to do my online Christmas shopping. Only three more weeks till the baby Jesus' birthday!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

There's no place like home!

I've been home a full week now and have loved every minute of it. My sweet husband has made sure that my every need is met. (I'm still waiting for him to get good and tired of this but he's a trooper!) It would be wonderful if I could hold out here at home through Christmas!

Today my Dad drove me to my doc appointment. The babies weighed in at 3lbs 2 oz and 3 lbs 4 oz. Yeah! My doctor also ran another FFN test ( which predicts whether I'm likely to deliver in the next two weeks. If it comes back positive I'll be back in the hospital this week. Booooo! Pray with us that it's negative.

Here's a grotesque pic of my 29 week belly! Yikes!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home for the Holidays!!!

Hey Everyone! My doctor conferred with the perinatologist and they agreed that it is safe for me to come home and continue my bedrest from here! Hurray! After a full month in the hospital I'm home at last. Jeff picked me up at 4:00 and is busily getting things set up. He had all sorts of special surprises for me at home too...there's a small fridge by my bed so I don't have to go to the kitchen for cold food, this cool little cart set up with my books, medications, snacks etc, underneath the fridge and he TOTALLY remodelled our bathroom as a Christmas gift to me! Wow! Do I have an awesome husband or what? He even got me this nifty adjustable tray that I can use for food or the computer. It angles up so I can see the keyboard better from my position lying down. I feel like a queen. :)

It's soooooooo good to be home! We want to lay low for a little while and give me a chance to adjust to being back here so I might not be able to have visitors for a little while. Too much excitment definitely has an impact on how many contractions I have.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I sure have a lot to be thankful for!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Milestone to Celebrate

Yesterday marked 28 weeks for the twins! Hurray! If the boys were to come now they would have a much better chance of avoiding many of the complications of extremely premature infants. This was the doctors' first goal for us. It's hard to believe that 4 weeks have passed since I was first admitted to the hospital! God is so good! Our prayers for our children are being answered with each extra day they remain on the inside!

Originally, my doctor had thought that she may be able to send me home after 28 weeks to continue my bedrest. However, events from this past week will probably prevent that from happening. I'm a bit disappointed because I had my hopes up a little over the prospect of spending Thanksgiving in the comfort of my own home, but Jeff and I would much prefer not to take any unnecessary chances with the boys so we are happy to comply with the doctors.

Events from this past week...since my last blog, celebrating my newfound freedom of ambulatory and wheelchair privileges, I have had two episodes of increased contractions prompting the doctors to re-attach me to the dreaded IV for fluids. Both times the contractions subsided without any trouble but because of this, sadly, my privileges were taken away. Sigh! Today the doctor said she may have me try out the wheelchair trips again. We'll see. It will be nice to see the outside world again. :)

On the homefront...Jeff has been busily getting things ready for the babies. With help from some dear friends and family, the nursery is slowly coming together. I can't wait to see it when I finally do come home. Jeff is doing such a wonderful job juggling all the projects around the house, his day to day work, and visiting me and bringing me things here at the hospital. I am truly blessed!

On Friday night, we celebrated my mom's birthday in my hospital room. There were six of us squeezed in here eating pizza and cake and throwing balloons around the room while my mom opened gifts. It was so much fun to spend that time with family. However, somehow the combination of sitting up and eating and the excitement of lots of visitors gets those pesky contractions going and we had to cut the evening short so I could let my belly rest. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted! So nice to get to celebrate with my mom! Here are some pictures from that night. Notice Billy sitting on the bedside comode (aka: the potty chair)! :)

Thanks to all of you from my church family who sent me the beautiful and enormous bouquet of flowers!!! They sure do brighten up the room and came just as my other flowers were on their way out! I feel so spoiled!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Little Fresh Air

This week my doctor informed me that she would like to see me get out in a wheelchair now and then and get a little fresh air. At first I was hesitant. With a short cervix and a propensity towards contractions when I'm sitting up straight, even the lure of sunshine and a brief escape from my four drab hospital walls didn't quite seem worth the risk. But she convinced me. So yesterday my parents came by and took me out for a 15 minute spin in the wheelchair. It was really nice! It's surprising how quickly 15 minutes passes when you get your first taste of fresh air in 2 1/2 weeks!

Today I thought I was going to go stir crazy. I think somehow getting a look at the outside world just gave me a hunger for more. Thankfully, Jeff and I had a date this afternoon for another whirlwind trip out of doors and some take out food and a movie. It was so nice to spend time together...not what you would normally think of as a date since we never left the hospital grounds, but heaven for me just the same. I'm so thankfull for my wonderful, adorable husband!!!

In addition to my new wheelchair privileges, the doctor has ordered that I get up out of bed up to three times a day and be on my feet for 5 - 10 minutes at a time...ambulatory priviliges. This is to prevent problems with blood clots from being inactive for so long. In any case, I'm enjoying the freedom of allowing myself to get up to do little things for myself a few times a day instead of having to call the nurses for help. I have to say, whether it's the weeks of inactivity or the increasing amount of weight around my midsection, it feels REALLY WIERD to walk. I guess I dodn't really walk, I shuffle. Hopefully I'll get more used to it with time. We'll see.

Well, that's all the exciting news for now. More on Monday when the boys get measured again. I'm hoping they've reached two pounds by now. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Good News!!!

I'm happy to report some very positive news...the doctor came yesterday to do an ultrasound and discovered that my cervix, while very short, has not changed at all in the last week. That means that all this bedrest here is doing what it's supposed to do! Hurray! Not only that, but Jeff went to see the doctor yesterday and though his ear will take some time to heal, he's feeling much better! God is good! That's all for now!

Friday, November 7, 2008

One day at a time...

Tomorrow marks 26 weeks into the pregnancy. I'm still in the hospital and thanking God for each extra day the babies stay inside and grow bigger and stronger. As of Monday, they weighed in at 1 lb 12 oz and 1 lb 13 oz. So far so good!

People keep asking me if I'm going nuts lying in bed all day. But the truth is, God has given me the grace for each day. I just take it one hour at a time. I wake up around 7:00 or 7:30 each morning. I order my breakfast, read my bible and pray, listen to soothing music (I've read that it lowers stress in pregnant women), and try to do the exercises the physical therapist gave me before the nurse comes in to put my leg squeezers on (like plastic blowup leg warmers that massage my legs to keep the blood moving and prevent blood clots). Each morning the new nurse on duty for the day puts both babies on a heart monitor for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on how cooperative they are that day. They take turns avoiding the monitors. There must be something about the ultrasound that they don't like. After this, I read or knit or do some sudoku puzzles or talk to people on the phone. Then before you know it, it's time to order lunch. Sometimes I'll get a visitor in the afternoon. I've begun watching a show called Bringing Home Baby on TLC. This week has been multiples week so I've watched different families bring home their twins and triplets for the first time. It's been very eye opening. Am I boring you yet? I have a variety of activities to keep me busy throughout the day and around 5:00 I order dinner and Jeff comes to join me. When the night nurse comes on duty, the babies get monitored again. Once that is done, I pull out my computer or watch tv until I go to sleep. It's not an exciting life but the days are passing just fine and I should probably be thankful for the rest I get now because I'm not likely to get much if any for a long time to come once the twins arrive. :)

The plan for now is to keep me in the hospital until I hit at least 28 weeks. I've made it almost 2 weeks so far and the new medication they have me on appears to be keeping the contractions under control for now. Please pray that it continues to work because for now it means I don't have to be on an IV! Hurray! I've also had no side effects with this medication. Once I've reached 28 weeks the doctor will reassess my situation and possibly send me home for bedrest. We're just praying that God continues to give the doctors wisdom and direction.

In the meantime, I believe Jeff is carrying the heavier burden between us. He not only continues to work each day and picks up the slack for me at home, he also field phonecalls and questions and has added burdens of preparing the baby nursery and considering how all of this will affect us financially as a family. Early maternity leave caught us a little by surprise. To add insult to injury, he perferated an eardrum last week and has been in a lot of pain and not hearing out of his right ear. He could use a lot of prayer right now. Poor guy! He's been my angel, taking care of me and keeping me company in the evenings in addition to everything else on his plate these days.

Many many thanks to all our friends and family who have been showing their love and support through phone calls, visits, flowers, books, movies, snacks, magazines, offers to help. We feel so incredibly blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives! I don't know what we'd do without all of you!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

News of the Day

It's been awhile since I've updated my blog and here's why: on October 15th I happily trotted off to my doctor's appointment looking forward to seeing another cute ultrasound of the boys...unfortunately I also managed to land myself on bedrest. I've been dutiful in my task of staying off my feet the last week and a half only to have landed now in the hospital with frequent contractions and a shrinking cervix.

Needless to say, this has been a very frightening time and a true test of our faith. We have to keep reminding ourselves of the promises and prophesies from God surrounding the little lives growing inside of me. For those of you who don't know the story, I'll recount it now as I remind myself to continue to bolster my belief that God has a plan for these little boys' lives and it is to prosper them and not to harm them. Here goes:

A little over two years ago, we tragically lost a very dear member of our family to cancer, my uncle Darrell, my mother's twin brother. I, along with the Waldron family, was devastated. I couldn't understand how God could allow this to happen to him. I had prayed so hard for a miracle only to find that God's plan was different than mine. I struggled, and still do, to find a way to accept this and reconcile this tremendous loss for our family with the loving God that I know. One day, about a year later, we had a pastor from Japan visit our church. Jun Takamoto is a strong believer in spiritual warfare and came to our church to share with us. One thing he said stuck in my mind. He said that as Christians, when Satan steals something from us we have the right to demand back double repayment for what was stolen. The only thought in my mind was Uncle Darrell. His life was stolen and I was bitter. So I decided to pray. I asked God to redeem back double the precious life that had been snatched away from our family. It occurred to me at the time that perhaps the double repayment would come in the form of twins in our family again. But I tucked that thought away, not wishing to get my hopes up.

Flash forward another year. Jeff and I had been trying for 8 months to get pregnant with no success. We had just begun fertility testing to see if we could come up with a reason that might be standing in the way. One morning, Jeff goes to breakfast with a friend from church, Dexter Nocon. Dexter reveals to Jeff that he has heard a word from God that Jeff and I are going to have a son and we are going to name him...well I won't reveal that just yet. Anyway, about a week later we learn we are pregnant, with no medical intervention, only testing. We do our best to keep the news to ourselves and a few close family members until after the first trimester has passed but soon realize this will be hard to do as I am starting to develop a belly really early. At 8 1/2 weeks we learn we are having twins. At 10 weeks we inform the family. Early on I have a sneaking suspicion that they are two would only be fitting. Sure enough it is confirmed at 16 weeks that we do in fact have two boys. But here's the would be so easy to explain away twins...they run in our family, afterall. My mom and Darrell were twins. Why wouldn't someone else have twins. However, the doctors say ours are identical...twins by a completely different process, not handed down genetically through the family. This is a God thing.

So there you have it, God answers prayer in big ways. He's done it before and he'll do it again. He created these little lives inside of me and He has a perfect plan for their lives as Uncle Darrell's favorite verse states:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

I claim that now for these little boys...our precious little miracles from God!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Forever in Blue Jeans

Last Saturday night we went to see the Neil Diamond concert because, as Jeff likes to put it, he's one of those artists you HAVE to see live before he "kicks the bucket". Anyway, it was a very nice concert. Neil Diamond's music is very nostalgic for me...a throwback to my carefree childhood days. But the real fun was experiencing the party going on in my belly in response to the loud music! Wow! Those babies were kicking and punching and rolling around like never before! Jeff and the others decided this means the boys are big Neil Diamond fans. I kinda think they were tripping out on the loud sounds and vibrations in my belly. I tried to walk out now and then and give them a little break from all the excitement. Jeff tested out his theory the next morning by playing some Neil tunes and sure enough, Baby A started dancing around in there. Maybe we do have at least one future Neil Diamond fan.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Art & Lyrics

Last Saturday we hosted the 2nd annual Art & Lyrics at our home. It's an event where talented people from our church come together to share their gifts and abilities with the rest of us. This year we had two musicians, an actress, a poet, two artists and Jeff the photographer!!! We promoted it pretty last minute but got a decent crowd, nontheless. I think next year we'll start earlier (although I'm not sure how that will work after the twins arrive). Anyway, what was extra exciting for me this year was seeing Jeff put his photos out in public view for the very first time. This was a big first step and it was very well received. Here are a few samples...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Take Me Out to the Dodgers...

On Tuesday night, instead of our usual game night at Alma, we all went to the Dodger game. The Dodgers wiped the field with the Padres in the first inning and the rest of the game was pretty uneventful. I don't think I've actually stepped foot in Dodger Stadium for probably 15 years! Last time I was there I remember a particular incident with a large coke ending up in my lap and spending the rest of the evening trying to air dry. Ah, memories! Anyway, my favorite thing about Dodger games is the Dodger Dogs! No luck this time. No hot dogs for the pregnant lady. Bummer! The highlight of my evening was when Kylie stuffed her blanket in her sweatshirt to make her belly look like mine. Oh how I wish someone got a photo of that! What a cutie pie!!! One thing I DO feel the need to mention is that we were at the very bottom of our section and I took those incredibly steep stairs several times on my way to get food and run to the restroom! That was my exercise for the day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First Time Bloggers

Well this is our first foray into the blogging world. It now seems necessary to have somewhere to post pictures and updates of the twins for our friends and family. At our last doctors appointment we discovered we're having two boys...most likely identical! I think we have our work cut out for us. Jeff's mom says he was a perfect baby so he is convinced that our little guys will follow suit. Hmmm...I do have a feeling they'll be a lot like their daddy. Here's a visual of Julia's perfect little angel. :)